By, Maricel Bates
I am from the Philippines, and I came to the U.S. in 2002 to escape economic hardship and physical abuse. I was forced to leave my six children behind. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, but now, years later, I can see God was preparing the way for all of us to come to this incredible land of freedom.
All along, the Lord had an amazing plan for my life, even when I couldn’t see it. I was lonely when I first arrived here, but God provided many wonderful friends for me. I also met a wonderful American man who loves and serves the Lord with all his heart, and we were able to get married in 2008. I praise and thank God for my future, and for His plans for me.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God prepared every step of the way for me. I have learned and seen the power of prayer and how to rely on Jesus for everything I need. He is the ultimate Provider. He has given me an opportunity to serve at a local homeless shelter and also to teach His Word. I am also honored to be the Prayer Coordinator for Her Life Speaks.
The one thing missing in my life is my children, and my heart longs to have them in the U.S. with me. In 2010, we began the process of petitioning to get them here. The paperwork takes a long time, and although we have waited 12 long years, God has provided at every step; the petitions for my children are starting to move now, so I knew and prayed that it was time for me to become an official U.S. citizen. God is so good!
Where do you see God preparing a way and providing for you?
By, Liz Lodriguez
I am from the Dominican Republic. It took me ten years to become a U.S. citizen, and although I faced many challenges, they helped me trust Jesus even more.
When I was in my mid-20s, I decided that I wanted to one day become a U.S. citizen. I still remember when I was introduced to my attorney with my “American Mother,” and he said the following words, "First, we will get you a student visa, then workers/religious visa, then a green card, and if you are not married by then to a U.S. citizen, we will help you become a U.S. citizen."
When the attorney was explaining this, I was wondering how I would be able to afford all the fees. Yes, I had my doubts, and I was frustrated because I wanted this process to be fast and easy. But God knew what was going to happen.
Mathew 6:8 says, “For your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
My family and my church were my biggest supporters. God knew I would need an army to face this journey, so He provided one for me. When I started the journey toward my citizenship, my first visa, known as a student visa, was denied while visiting my family in the Dominican, which did not allow me to return to the U.S.
I was distraught, feeling hopeless, and almost depressed. But God had the church praying for me, and the second time that I applied for my student visa, I was approved. Through my church, I was able to obtain a religious visa and years later, I met my husband and received a green card through marriage. Yes, I got married! Jesus gave me a husband, and I became a U.S. citizen! Every step of the way, God was there.
Due to my experiences obtaining my citizenship, God has equipped me to help others. Just this year alone, I was able to help 10 individuals become U.S. Citizens! The best part of my story is how Jesus was with me every step of the way.
What journey does the Lord have you on that you are trusting him with each step?
By, Angelica G
Thirteen years ago, I began a relationship that was full of love and hope. A year after we started dating, I became pregnant. I started noticing red flags about our relationship but completely ignored them. My boyfriend repeatedly told me that he would not marry me because I was not worthy and shortly after, the mental, emotional, and verbal abuse began. I thought it was God’s will for us to be together, especially since we had a daughter together.
In March 2020 the abuse became unbearable and I kept accusing God of not showing me a way out. One day, I finally stopped complaining and said to God, “I give up.” Then, one morning, the situation with my boyfriend got serious. I ran with my daughter to the police station because I knew that if I stayed, there would be a tragedy. God had other plans for me that day. After speaking to a judge, the unexpected happened; my boyfriend was removed from our home. Today, I can say that I am the happiest I’ve ever been and I know it’s just the beginning of God’s divine plan for my life.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.
He has shown me His faithfulness. It wasn’t easy to put my trust in God alone, but He has shown me that He will do anything to make sure His plan for my life is fulfilled. I have completely put my trust in Him because I now know that He is holding me in the palm of His hand. Friend, whatever you are going through, know that He is in control.
“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10.
I have been hurting too and I can confidently tell you to put your trust and life in His hands. Surrender all and you will see miracles that will give Him the glory, the type of miracles that will keep you in awe and boasting about His goodness for the rest of your life.
How has God shown up for you in expected ways? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
By, Lauren C
I've always wanted to be a mother… since a very young age, my greatest dream was to be a mom of five or six kids! One reason could be that I'm one of five and very close with all of my brothers and sisters and we're used to a lot of activity going on ALL of the time. You could say I'm not very good with down time. My mom made a lot of sacrifices for us and always did her best to show us lots of love! I always pictured myself being a mom like this. However, my plans to be a mom were thwarted in my mid-20s.
I was engaged to a youth pastor after dating on and off for seven years. After planning
two weddings for 450 people, my fiance called off the wedding two months before we
were supposed to walk down the aisle. I was devastated and my plans and dreams of
being a wife and mother looked like they were slipping away.
I was always looking for my next stage in life instead of being content with where I was;
"I'll serve God when I'm married," "l'll really be happy and fulfilled when I become a
mom." It’s taught me to be content right where God has me; to serve Him and continue
to grow closer to Him no matter what stage of life I’m in.
God has us just where He wants us right now.
Let me encourage you to focus on where God has placed you today and not believing
the lie that you will find fulfillment and joy when the next stage of your life occurs. The
time is now!
My story continues when I found my husband a few years later and now have two
beautiful children. They keep me on my toes 24/7! They have lots of energy and joy and
it's so amazing to see their tender hearts for the Lord and their sweet simple prayers,
even at three and five years old! As a working mom, life is busy. I am trying to balance
life, family, and time with the Lord, etc… It's a work in progress, but I find contentment
when praying, Proverbs 31:31 “that my children will one day be able to say, Honor
her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city
gate." Another verse that always comes to mind as I teach my children about God's
great love for them and to see them loving others with grace and compassion is, 3 John
1:4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
Sisters, let us walk in truth in 2022 and know that no matter what stage of life we’re in or
their circumstances, this Mother's Day, may we choose to find our fulfillment and joy in the Lord.
How are you finding contentment in Jesus throughout your daily life? I’d love to hear
about it in the comments.
By: Lynne M.
How do we know or feel God's presence with us? The Bible encourages us to "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. Stillness seems to be the key to communicating with anyone. Not only does it help to slow down our bodies and help us make eye contact, but we really can't truly receive or hear what another person is saying if we don't quiet our minds. The more we learn to take the focus off of ourselves and place it on God, the more we can thrive in relationship with Him, which is how He created us to live.
Here we truly learn that it is God’s peace, not the worlds, that surpasses all understanding and will guard our hearts and minds Philippians 4:7
I was able to hold it together until the last pan was washed on Christmas day at my Dad's. I came home with a high fever and hit the couch. Yes, I had covid and the waves of questions of how this may develop began to hit me. Oh how His peace became my daily Bread.
I couldn't swallow, even water, for 3 days. God guided and directed me at the exact moment I needed to get up and seek help. I was prompted to go to the emergency room. I was dehydrated and needed fluids and pain relievers. I sat there waiting to be treated for hours, in pain and discomfort, amongst so many others in the same condition, I was not alone. His peace, and now strength, that I needed just to sit in a chair, was so real. The recovery was a slow and difficult process, but again, God continued to feed me. Not physical bread that I couldn't even eat for a few weeks, but His Bread, the sustenance of life. . I was like an infant growing and learning to see all the blessings we take for granted each day.
How have you learned to trust the Lord throughout the pandemic? Has he revealed himself to you in new ways? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.